Choosing your GCSEs

General tips before you choose

GCSEs are broad, general qualifications so whatever subjects you choose will be useful for the future. However, there are some important things to be aware of, so read the section on 'How your choices could affect your future'.

  • You might like to do a fun personality profile test to find out more about what is important to you, before you make decisions about GCSEs.
  • Find out what subjects you have to do and what subjects you can choose to keep or drop.
  • Use the support offered through your school - like option evenings, course information, school websites, careers library and careers software - to gather information on your options.
  • Check out your ideas with people who know you well like your parents/carers, older siblings or a careers adviser.
  • If you’re already thinking about a particular job or career, take a look at the entry requirements for that type of work using the Job Profiles in Job Sectors or talk to somebody who already works in that sector.
  • If you’re already thinking about a university course, look at the entry requirements and work back from there - you can find some information about which post 16 courses to choose for specific university subjects through this link or visit the university's website.

How (and how not!) to make your GCSE choices

  • Choose subjects that you think you’ll be good at and that will interest you;
  • If you think you might want to do a science-related course in the future, choose combined science or the three individual sciences;
  • If you’re not sure what you want to do after your GCSEs, try to choose a good mix of GCSE subjects to keep open as many different future directions as possible;
  • If you’re considering a career related to languages, or art and design, having the relevant GCSEs will really help;
  • Check out whether there are vocational qualifications on offer at your school, like a BTEC in Engineering or Sports Skills.

Try NOT to choose a subject because:

  • Your friend is doing it and you want to be with them;
  • You like your teacher (you may not get the same one next year);
  • Your parent's tell you to;
  • You've heard it's easy.

See 'Useful links to help with choosing’ to find lots of information sources that can help you make your post 14 choices.

If you want to see the new GCSE grading system click here.

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